Comorbidity studies of eating disorders and mood disorders. Critical review of the literature

J Affect Disord. 2007 Jan;97(1-3):37-49. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2006.06.023. Epub 2006 Aug 22.


Objective: We conducted a critical literature review of studies assessing the prevalence of mood disorders (MD) in subjects with eating disorders (ED; anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa). In the first part of this article, we discuss methodological issues relevant to comorbidity studies between ED and MD. In the second part, we summarize the findings of these studies in light of the methodological considerations raised.

Method: A manual computerised search (Medline) was performed for all published studies on comorbidity between ED and MD. In order to have sufficiently homogeneous diagnostic criteria for both categories of disorders, this search was limited to articles published between 1985 and 2006.

Results: Too few studies include control groups, few studies compared diagnostic subgroups of ED subjects, and results are scarce or conflicting.

Discussion: The results are discussed in the light of the methodological problems observed. The implications when reviewing the results of published studies and planning future research are set out.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anorexia Nervosa / epidemiology*
  • Bulimia Nervosa / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology*